Bowles And Gintis Case Study

979 Words4 Pages
For Bowles and Gintis (2013), the principle of morality has evolutionary roots. These theorists see moral feelings and behaviors as the result of a sort of natural selection. The authors claim that the reason humans are moral beings can be traced to their ancestral environments that were both naturally and socially constructed. In these environments, groups of individuals who were predisposed to cooperate and uphold ethical norms tended to survive and expand relative to those who did not. This cooperative behavior allowed prosocial motivations to proliferate over time, and to slowly establish certain values in society, many of which are still held today. They argue that individuals are moral because they have evolutionarily engrained desires to want to “do good” and to see others…show more content…
For Bowles and Gintis (2013), acting morally is an essential component to ensuring the success of the group or society as a whole. Modern day examples include the joint pursuit of political and military objectives, as well as the more prosaic foundations of everyday occurrences, such as collaboration among employees in a large corporation. Without cooperation, these interdependent ventures would be hopelessly fraught with difficulties, and economic stability would be tremendously precarious. To avoid such catastrophes, Bowles and Gintis (2013) argue that at some point in time humans must have adopted elaborate systems of socialization that allowed them to internalize the norms that induce cooperation, so that contributing to common objectives and punishing those who were motivated by personal agendas became second nature. Together, the collective internalization of prosocial norms and the devout protection of the altruists from exploitation serve to indemnify the competitive handicaps born by those who were motivated to sacrifice personal luxuries to benefit

More about Bowles And Gintis Case Study

Open Document